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Chapter 18

Uncurling from the ball she had formed while sleeping, Scarlet stretched herself out like a cat. Yawning, her hands fell to her pillow. Today is the day. She thought to herself. There wasn’t a moment up until that moment in her life that she felt so excited. Pals was getting married, and not only was Scarlet invited to the wedding- she was to be in it. A childhood lived out casted from any real social events had all built up to a near sleepless night from the under lying multitude of feelings. Within her bubble of bliss, the thought of what was to come after the wedding made the smile from Scarlet’s face vanish. The King had informed her just two days prior, as they ended their two hours of dance practice that he was to be headed to the coast on Monday. The thought that she would be alone in the castle did not startle Scarlet, the request he made for her to come within was what made her trip over her own toes. He made the argument that his cousin Claudia would be there also, and that the trip was purely business. Having her there, he claimed, would at least make his time there slightly less dull.

Rolling from her bed, Scarlet stripped her night gown off. Tossing it to her bed, she moved through the cool morning air in the nude; going to the bathroom. She filled the bath, using all of her favorite products. The sweet smells swirled through the air, almost to a suffocating point. She didn’t mind. After she was satisfied with how deep the perfume seeped into her skin, Scarlet drained the water and wrapped herself in a towel. She strolled from the bathroom to her closet, picking one of the first dresses her hands fell on. It didn’t matter, she wouldn’t be in it for long. Changing into the frock, Scarlet shifted her focus to her hair. Patting it dry with the towel, she then braided it. Once more, it didn’t matter all too much. Her hair would only be kept in the style for a short time.

She realized as her bare feet hit the cool marble of the foyer, that she had forgotten her shoes in her room. After returning to her room and finding a pair that matched the dress, she finally entered the dining room. Renee was already seated, her plate piled with a small mount of food on it. Taking her own seat, Scarlet started to place food onto her plate from the mid-middle setting bowls. “So you are leaving straight after breakfast?” Slowly lowering her fork, her mouth chewing on her eggs, Scarlet nodded.

Pals wants us there by nine-thirty.

“Do you really think it’s going to take you two and half hours to get ready?” Scarlet shrugged, taking another bite of eggs. She didn’t know, and she didn’t care to know. This was all but her first party. The table, as well as the room, fell silent. There would be a scrapping of forks, the movement of food. Finishing her small meal, Scarlet stood. Renee watched her, “I’ll see you at the wedding.” Scarlet gave a small wave, leaving the room. Coming into the foyer, she smiled as she spotted Vern. “Good morning Miss Scarlet, are you ready to go?” Nodding, Scarlet stepped out the open door. Climbing into the waiting car, she was slightly surprised when Vern followed in after her. Closing the door, he glanced over to Scarlet and smiled- showing off a sharpen pair of fangs. “I am to just see you to the Museum, by request of the King.” She nodded, giving him a tiny smile of her own. She could understand why the King would place her under a guard’s care.

If Scarlet had ever been to an upper class wedding, or any wedding truly, she would have realized what a strange venue a Museum was for such an event. Never the less, as she was lead to a small worker’s area, her breath was taken away- as it was the first time she had seen it all. The white washed walls were so tall, they seemed to reach up and touch the sky. Under carefully placed lights were paintings along the wall, each framed in golden beauty. Behind velvet ropes, scattered throughout the floors were a multitude of different statues and sculptors of all sizes. They passed by the area where the ceremony would be held, in the largest glass room Scarlet had ever seen in her life. She had been in the green house only one other time, the day prior during the practice ceremony. She could already image the long flower canopy over her head, the soft cobble stone under her feet that made up the center aisle. The sound of Vern’s goodbye pulled Scarlet from her day dream, and she waved to him.

Entering a rather small, and bland hall way, a worker showed Scarlet to the room that she was meant to get ready in. Giving the worker a nod, she jumped at the loud voice on the other side of the door. The worker rolled their eyes, spinning on their heels as they did. Left alone, Scarlet opened the door and was greeted with utter chaos. “I cannot find it-it’s not here!” From behind a large pile of stacked crates, Theo popped up and frantically turned to her sister. “Theo relax, if they’re not here, then they’re at my shop. Go call mother or father, have them stop there real fast.” Groaning Theo rushed past Scarlet and out the door. Pals took a deep breath, her eyes setting on Scarlet through the mirror. “Oh wonderful, you’re here. I would hug you, but Luca would claw my eyes out if I messed his work up.” The worker who stood over Pals turned, and smiled. He was a werewolf, his eyes glowing despite being near black. He held her hair in his hands. “Aye, please come ’ave a seat next ta Palsea. I’ll ’ave my assistant start work on you.” Scarlet noted, as she took the stool besides Pals, that he had lightened her hair, and removed the braids. He was working on flattening it, defining the sharp downward angle it held from her jaw. The werewolf working on her hair had taken it out from it’s braid and was now brushing it. “Palsea, whatta you wanna give this one?” Pals glanced over to Scarlet’s hair, thinking for a moment. “Curls. Lots and lots of beautiful, loose curls. Make the part deep to the left, then, take what’s left and pin it to the right back half in a bun. I have a beautiful hat I wish to display.” The worker nodded her head, “A’ight you got it.”

By the time Scarlet’s hair was finished, Pals had turned away from the mirror. A vampire with very blue hair and bright yellow eye shadow was now carefully coloring her face. It was not a normal routine, it was like nothing Scarlet had ever seen. The vampire carefully laid a fine, straight line of tan dust straight across Pals’ face. “Open, let’s check.” Opening her eyes, Pals turned to look in the mirror. “Yes, this is turning out well. Theo, look.” Theo sat on the other side of Pals, her red hair being carefully curled and pinned in a bun. Upon seeing her sister, Theo smiled. “It’s wonderful.” Pals nodded, and turned back to the artist. Theo glanced over to Scarlet, where the small pale green hat was being pinned to her head. She was confused by the plain line. “It’s a tradition that for any life altering ceremony, in today’s case Pals’ wedding, that we return to the nature around us. As a reminded and a thank you. Since Pals’ and Rony are getting married, it’s their duties to try to connect to the planet around us.” Scarlet gave a small nod, still not completely understanding the concept. So she sat silently, watching the paint be applied to Pals’s lip. “So what do you want me to the human?” The vampire had moved from Pals, who was standing and moving to a corner of the room, and now was bent face to face with Scarlet. “Something simple. Natural colors. Enhance the beauty she was born with. The same for Theo, Claudia- if she ever shows up- and Maxmia.” The vampire nodded, shuffling through her bag until she found the brush she had been seeking.

Claudia showed up just as the vampire was painting Scarlet’s lips a soft peach. She apologized profusely to Pals, who was behind a dressing screen, and took a seat so Luca could do her hair. When the vampire deemed Scarlet finished, she took a step back to admire her work. With a single nod she moved on to Theo, who had just returned to her stool. Everything stood still, though, when Pals stepped out from behind the dressing screen. Scarlet felt the breath leave her lungs and not return. The gown was the palest of lavenders, hugging her body perfectly but pooling around her feet. The sleeves hugged her arms, and the sweetheart neckline framed her breast perfectly. Each shoulder had a cover, and attached was sheer white, billowing sleeves in the front. The back was a matching cape that had a train at least six feet long. Sliver rings, stacked upon each other ran from her chin to her shoulders. Connecting with the metal shoulder covers seamlessly. She stood among them, a goddess among mortals.

“Oh Pals.”


“Look at you big sister.”

Pals remained stone face throughout the wave of compliments. At the end, she gave a small head nod, and a “Thank you.” She adjusted the metal belt at her hips, her eyes falling for a moment. Moving towards the crates, she pulled out a large white bundle. “It is time for you all now, Scarlet. You first, you are the only one fully ready.” The other three bridesmaids casted a look towards Pals, but she ignored them and handed the bundle to Scarlet. “You shouldn’t need help.” Standing, Scarlet took the rather heavy bundle into her arms and went to hide behind the dressing screen. Seeing the dress fully finished, she took a moment to hold the gown to the soft steam-lamp. The plain mint-green was there, but there was now a graceful layer of green lace- the coloring matching the hat on her head. The skirt, now fully finished, expanded out slight around her knees. It was so beautiful. Not only was it the most beautiful gown she had ever worn, it was the most beautiful gown she had ever seen. Changing into it was simple as baking a pie. What she noticed, where there had once been a zipper, was now a row of fabric covered buttons. Each was no bigger than her pinky nail, the line going from her mid hip, up her side until her armpit. There, right before it would rest in a rather uncomfortable spot, the buttons then moved to the side, framing her arm, and shoulder. When it finally centered at her necks hallow, they continued upward to fully cover her neck. Once the last button was pulled through, she lifted the soft skirt and stepped out from behind the screen. Theo stood next to Pals, a pair of brown heels in her hands. Claudia was getting the final touches on her hair, and the last bridesmaid Maxmia, a cousin of the twin sisters, sat still as her face got worked on. Dropping the skirt, Scarlet looked about the room nervously as everyone now stared at her. She tried to hide the fact that her hands were shaking, and fought to keep her back straight. Theo was the first to smile, with Claudia following after. Pals moved closer, the ruffling of her beaded head piece being the only noise in the room. She had placed it on her head as Scarlet had changed. The carefully sewn beads rested against her forehead, and framed her face. They then expanded out to the rest of hair, cascading down in a large, beaded veil. Her eyes ran over Scarlet, running a few fingers down her arm. Brushing the tips of her fingers down Scarlet’s jawline, Pals moved her face closer. “You look beautiful.” Scarlet smiled, instant relief flooding her whole body. “Come, I have your shoes and mask. Theo, your turn.”

“Places, places.” Scarlet was shuffled into a line by the wedding coordinator, as he eagerly whispered at them. “On my cue-wait for it.” He made a small motion, and suddenly the air swirled with a number of instruments. “Okay, okay, first girl. Walk, pause for the photo, and then continue on.” Maxmia cradled the bouquet of flowers flat in her right arm, and turned the corner. Among the music, and because she was so close, Scarlet heard the gentle click of the camera. Scarlet took a small step forward. When Claudia begun to move, that was when her heart rate picked up. She was next. Scarlet watched the wedding coordinator like a child seeing a new toy. When he motioned for her to move, she did. Thankful for the masquerade mask Pals had required any one at the wedding to wear. Columbia was the style of the bridesmaids, having matched their dresses by color and lace. Pausing, she glanced to the camera man, and smiled. Moving on, her eyes scanned both sides of the on lookers, her smile never wavering. The honor and beauty she felt out weighted any negative thought she could have at the moment.

Finally reaching the end of the walk, she took her place next to Claudia. Theo followed shortly after, smiling larger than Scarlet had ever seen her. When the werewolf took her place next to Scarlet, the music suddenly changed. The audience then stood, looking to the spot where Pals would be entering. Rounding the corner, the sound of her beads jingled through the air and Pals made her entrance. Coming to her side, her parents each hugged her and took a single step in front of her. Only then, together, did the trio move down the aisle. As Theo had also explained the day before, it was her parent’s duty to lead Pals down the aisle. It symbolized their last journey together that would ultimately lead her into a new life. Unlike Scarlet and Theo, Pals eyes remained focused on one being- Rony. Though she did not smile nor frown, her face seemed softer as she stared at her husband to be. Reaching the end of the aisle, Pals met her parents. Stepping between them, the music faded away.

“And who leads this werewolf into her next journey?” The Marriage Minister looked to Mr. and Mrs. Deaeque. Together they both replied with a swift ‘we do’. The Minister nodded his head in thanks and dismissed them. They took their seat in the front row, both beaming in pride. “Good day to you all, and welcome. We have gathered here today as witnesses to Palsea Elizabeth Deaeque’s and Ronford David Loth’s journey into their new life together. You may all be seated.” The crowd sat, but the wedding party remained standing to each side. “There is much to be said about love. Many believe that it is infinite, and that it’s power is stronger than any being. As is known in our history, werewolves have always found their everlasting love through the fate-bound soul mate. To be willing to travel to the edges of the world and back, just for the chance to find true happiness. Luckily for Palsea and Ronford, they needed not to travel through the lands. Rather, they met by chance along the beautiful beaches of Seustad. Palsea was there on business, Ronford in hopes to forget about his ex.” The crowd gave small chuckles, and laughs; clearly entertained.

“Upon spotting Palsea, Ronford would ask her out four times within the span of a few hours before Palsea tackled him from annoyance. After that failed to turn his attention from her, she agreed to go for a drink. That single drink would lead to two, which lead to a real date, and so on until we reach today nearly twenty years later to the date. Today these two say goodbye to separate lives, and begin the new journey together. As they do, we take this time to remember those of before us, and honor them. We honor the earth of which we were born and onto which we shall one day die. We honor their future together. For marriage is not something one goes into lightly. It is a lifelong commitment, a precious gift. It is created and upheld by love, and without will surly crumble.” Scarlet took the chance to glance out to the crowd, searching for only one person. Upon spotting them, and they catching her eye, both smiled. He looked so handsome in his black mask.

“Now the beloved would like to each say something to each other, Palsea.” Turning, Theo held out a piece of paper to her sister. Pals took it, turning back to her groom. “My darling Rony, I honestly cannot believe I am standing here today. Mostly because you successfully hid it for the past two years but could not hide the secret of my surprise birthday party last year.” Everyone laughed, and Rony flushed in loving colors. “But I would not have you any other way. I never thought the annoying werewolf from Sunset beach would be the wolf I’d fall in love with. You annoy me, and know how to push me to my limits. But you also take me for all of my flaws, and have never tried to change me. Thank you, for everything. I love you. I love you with every breath I take, and will do so until the moment my heart ceases to move. I’m not sure if Fate chose us as Mates, but I know for a fact that even if it didn’t our love is greater than any other force. I am honored to be becoming your wife and promise forever together.” The Minister motioned to Rony. The werewolf pulled a folded paper from his jacket pocket.

“Pals, were do I even start? From the moment I spotted you along the beach, I knew you were the one. Despite the fact that your lack of facial emotions during our first few dates left me confused and slightly scared.” Again the crowd laughed. For the first time that she’d known her, Scarlet witnessed Pals smiled. “But I refused to give up. I knew there had to be a way to get through those emotionless layer. What I realized is that the layers are not something I had to get through, but rather something you had allow me pass. Thank you for letting me pass it. Thank you for trusting me, and agreeing to be my wife. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly but gladly take on. You are the love of my life.” Rony choked, and Pals reached across to wipe the tears falling from his eyes. “I will never be the man you truly need, but I will try my damn hardest to be him. I know that together as a team, we can defeat anything. Because today, together, we are starting on a new path, and I promise forever together.” The two interlocked hands, and for the first time in front of many of the beings at the wedding Pals smiled. Her teeth sparkled, and the skin around her eyes wrinkled. “Palsea, in front of these witnesses, do you here today and forever more take Ronford to be your husband? Do you promise to love, comfort and keep him? Will you forsake all else and remain true to him until death do you part?”

The smile fell from Pals’ face but the joy was still there. “I shall.” The Minster nodded, and repeated the same passage to Rony. Smiling, he nodded his head. “I shall.” The Minster motioned to Theo and Rony’s best man. “May the rings brought forth now.” Each werewolf handed their ring off to one of the soon-to-be newlyweds. “Palsea, please repeat after me: Ronford, in front of these witnesses and with this ring; today I thee wed.” Pals repeated him, sliding the black band onto Rony’s finger. “Ronford, please repeat after me: Palsea, in front of these witnesses and with this ring: today I thee wed you.” Rony’s hand shook as he slid the band onto Pals’ slim hand but once it was done a loud howl came from the crowd. Rony laughed, his face tinting. “I hereby, with the power invested in me, pronounce you both man and wife. Please seal this proclamation, and start your new journey together, with a kiss.” The Minster took a step back, just in time for the camera to snap a picture of the married couple kissing. The music suddenly filled the air once more, carrying along the joy already in the air.

Pulling away, Pals and Rony hugged. He whispered something in her ear, and then pulled away. They both linked an arm with the other, Pals quickly grabbing her large bouquet from Theo. As they walked down the aisle, and for what Scarlet could guess was for the photo sakes, Pals gave a small smile. Once they reached the end, and rounded the corner out of sight, Theo linked arms with Rony’s best man and followed after. Scarlet was next, having been paired with a rather short male vampire, her eyes catching the King’s once more. After rounding the corner, the two were lead to a small, blocked off room. There, surrounded by paintings, they were to wait for the rest of the wedding party. Pals and Rony were already off in another section of the Museum taking private photos. By the time they were to be done, the ceremony space was to be cleared of all wedding guest so that more photos could be taken there. Only the whole wedding party was to be included.

Just as the last photo was taken, a rather large rumble shook Scarlet’s whole inner core. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until a worker walked by with a delicious smelling platter of chicken bites. Luckily, no one had heard her stomach’s cries. Another point for her was that the whole wedding party was lead into the main reception room just as many sat down for their mid-day meal. Taking her place at the round center table, she only begun to eat once Pals and Rony took their first bites. The meal seemed to speed by them, with the cutting of their wedding cake and desert coming and going. After nearly all were finished, the whole crowd moved to an adjoined room. There in all four corners were different pieces of an orchestra, with the further wall from the entrance being glass windows. There were a few seamless doors, which lead out to the impressive garden. Hanging from the high vaulted ceilings were three chandeliers, all equal in size and light. On the actual ceiling, though, were detailed paintings one would see in the home of a king.

Almost immediately upon entering the room Rony swept Pals out to the center of the room. Scarlet, along with the rest of guest, watched in a romance haze as the couple floated throughout the room, as the only dancers, for three solid songs. When the forth one begun, and others finally joined them, Claudia could be seen giving a sly smile to a rather tall vampire. Scarlet watched them, lost in the daze of the moment. “Excuse me.” Suddenly the light feeling she had was pushed form her body and she found herself landing hard back upon the ground. Turning to the owner of the voice, she held back a smile. “May I have this next dance?” The King bowed to her, a hand out held. He glanced up, and Scarlet realized how daunting he appeared at that moment- even in a bow. His suit was full black, and perfectly tailored to his body. His hair had recently been trimmed, and was slicked back without a single hair out of place. His black mask popped against his pale skin. It fully covered his face minus a small area that looked at if it had been cut to perfectly expose everything from his left cheekbone and below.

Releasing her smile as she took his hand, they strolled into the dancing crowd as a new song begun. Around them people begun to move. Placing everything in it’s proper position, the King moved. Scarlet followed after, bearing her eyes into his as to keep herself from look at her feet. Almost as if he could read her mind, the King smiled and tightened his grip along her waist. When the tempo started to speed up, so did her heart rate. They were now moving into positions that he had not taught her. She was fully at his mercy, and truly followed him. Never removing her eyes from his, was spun, dipped and even lifted into the air. Once in the air, she did glance at another woman and copied her free outstretched hand. Coming back to the ground, their hands met once more. At the feeling of it, of the King touch, Scarlet smiled and her cheeks were flamed. The tempo of the song soon begun to slow, coming nearer to the pace that it had started at. It was then Scarlet realized how little she had actually been breathing. Had it been physically possible for her, she would have stopped all together. Spinning out one last time, the song ended with Scarlet in the King’s arms. Her head was turned up to face his, frozen. Looking to his lips, and then quickly back to his eyes, she realized how deeply she wished to feel his lips upon hers.

“May I have this next dance?” He looked down to her, his eyes running over her face. Without a single sing of hesitation, Scarlet nodded. The music started once more, and in a single blink she faced him right on once more. “Green looks good on you.” Laughing more to herself, Scarlet was then whisked away into her blissful haze.

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